Fire hits Neste’s Naantali refinery

An early-morning fire on Apr. 20 at Neste Oil Corp.’s 2.9 million-tonne/year Naantali refinery in Finland has led to the shutdown of processing units at the plant.

The fire, which broke out at 4 a.m. local time at an oven in the refinery’s solvent unit, was quickly extinguished and did not result in any injuries, Neste Oil said.

Process units related to solvent production, however, have been shuttered as a result of the incident, the company said.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is under way.

While the company continues to assess the extent of damage at the plant to determine a timeframe for necessary repairs, current estimates indicate that output losses stemming from the incident will be limited to solvent production, Neste Oil said.

The Naantali refinery has the capacity to produce 260,000-tpy of desulfurized and dearomatized solvents, according to the company’s web site.

Late last year, Neste Oil announced plans to invest €500 million in a program designed to integrate operations at Naantali with those of its 9.8 million-tpy Porvoo refinery as a means to keep the company’s European operations competitive (OGJ Online, Oct. 7, 2014).

While the consolidation efforts will result in the shutdown of some existing units at Naantali, the refinery will continue to produce diesel and specialty products, including solvents, and maintain an important role in producing feedstocks, such as vacuum gas oil, for the Porvoo refinery.

At the time, Neste Oil said it would not make a final decision on the €60 million in planned investments at Naantali until it completed basic engineering on those projects, which was scheduled to occur sometime in early 2015.

If approved, optimization projects at the Naantali refinery would be completed in early 2017, the company said.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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